24h Le Mans
20/10/2019 - 16:01

Le Mans 66 (1) – Six winner spotlights

To coincide with the opening of the exhibition at the 24 Hours Museum (from 21 October 2019 to 23 February 2020) dedicated to the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and release of the film "Le Mans 66" a.k.a. "Ford v Ferrari" (13 November), this series revisits the 34th running of the race staged on the big screen by James Mangold. The first installment focuses on several outstanding stats related to previous and future winners at the start in the 1966 24 Hours.
Le Mans 66 (1) – Six winner spotlights

Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were the first New Zealanders to win Le Mans followed by Earl Bamber (2015 and 2017) and Brendon Hartley (2017).

- Seven previous winners took the start in 1966: Lorenzo Bandini, Masten Gregory, Jean Guichet, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt, Ludovico Scarfiotti and Nino Vaccarella. They all won the race at the wheel of a Ferrari between 1960 and 1965 during the Italian marque's undefeated era.

- Reunited at the wheel of the #21 Ferrari 333 P3, Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini and Frenchman Jean Guichet formed the only driver line-up in 1966 entirely composed of previous winners. Bandini won in 1963 and Guichet the following year, with Ludovico Scarfiotti and Nino Vaccarella, respectively.

- Two future winners were rookies in 1966. Henri Pescarolo (along with Yannick Dalmas) is the winningest French driver in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with four victories. Belgian driver Jacky Ickx boasts six wins and is the pole position record-holder at the race with five.

- In 1966, eight future winners took the start: Richard Attwood, Lucien Bianchi, Dan Gurney, Hans Herrmann, Graham Hill, Jacky Ickx, Henri Pescarolo and Pedro Rodriguez. They clinched 16 victories betweent 1967 and 1984. Hans Herrmann was the only driver to finish in the top 10 (fifth) in 1966.

- In 1966, Graham Hill driving a Ford competed in his ninth and penultimate 24 Hours of Le Mans. He returned in 1972 for a victory shared with Henri Pescarolo at the wheel of a Matra, making the British driver, already a two-time Formula 1 world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, the only motorsport Triple Crown winner in history.

PHOTOS (Copyright - ACO/ARCHIVES): LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE, CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY 18 & SUNDAY 19 JUNE 1966. From top to bottom: the winning Ford GT40 Mk shared by Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren (#2), the Ferrari 330 P3 driven by Lorenzo Bandini and Jean Guichet (#21) and the Ford GT40 Mk II of Graham Hill (here at the start) and Brian Muir. 

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